Character Fan Days Are a Big Hit With Guests at Disneyland Park

Michele Himmelberg

by , Public Relations Director, Disneyland Resort

Last weekend, guests joined us for Character Fan Days at the Festival Arena in Disneyland park. This Disney character reunion featured some rarely seen characters, including King Louie and Baloo from “Jungle Book” and the Seven Dwarfs. It’s not very often that you see all these fellows together in the park.

The Seven Dwarfs at Disneyland Park's Character Fan Days

King Louie and Baloo from 'The Jungle Book' at Disneyland Park's Character Fan Days

Character Fan Days was one in a series of Family Fun Weekends. The next two weekends will be the Happy Lunar New Year Festival, featuring Lunar Mickey.

For those who couldn’t join us, here are a few shots from our photographer Paul Hiffmeyer that capture the fun.

Country Bears at Disneyland Park's Character Fan Days

Guests enjoyed meeting Esmeralda and others from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame.”

Esmeralda from 'The Hunchback of Notre Dame' at Disneyland Park's Character Fan Days

Guests also got to enjoy the magic of sketch artists at work. And one very special guest got to help direct the Disneyland Band.

A Sketch Artist at Character Fan Days at Disneyland Park

A Special Guest Helps Direct the Disneyland Band

There are five more Family Fun Weekends, celebrating Lunar New Year and Mardi Gras. It’s a great time for Southern California residents to come join the fun. They can get 2 days of fun at the Resort for $99, with a ticket that offers admission to either Disneyland park or Disney California Adventure park.


  • I hope as well that based on how popular this event was on Saturday that Disneyland will remember how many Disneyland fans are lovers of the classics. Please bring back Peter pan and Wendy as regulars in the park!

  • Went on the Friday and had an absolute blast! Got to meet all the characters I wanted and spent almost the whole day in the Festival Arena. I’ve been to DL many times but it was hands down one of, if not the, best trips I’ve ever been on! 😀

    I happened to go on again on Sunday with a friend, but we didn’t get to see the characters due to the rain. We were both bummed, even though I got to already experienced it, she didn’t. I know the unexpected rain wasn’t Disney’s fault, but I was also surprised that they didn’t have a way to work around the rain, like having some other shelter covers or more umbrellas.

  • Whoever came up with the idea of Character Fan Day deserves a big raise. That was such a fun event. And with the post Christmas holiday blues, this was the right medicine for the off season.
    The Food and Wine Festival has been cancelled over at California Adventure for (at least) the next two years. I think creating another Character Fan Day over at DCA in the Spring would fill that void pretty well.

  • Also went on Sunday for the Character Fan Days. While I understand that the characters could not be out in the rain, I was disappointed that they closed the arena area, it quit raining 30 minutes later and they did not reopen it. There was still 2 hrs of the scheduled event time left. Maybe there will be a make-up day, but I’m hoping that there will be a more diverse group of characters on a daily basis in the park since this weekend was so successful. It’s obvious that they’d be appreciated!

  • I got a chance to go on Friday and thought the whole thing was fantastic. The cast members did a great job wrangling the crowds and keeping lines organized. And, it was great that Disneyland offered a few surprises – The Country Bears, Judge Claude Frollo and the Alice in Wonderland Unit posing together.

    These Family Fun Weekends have just been amazing and a wonderful treat for all, particularly Annual Passholders like me who want to see something different once in awhile. I really hope that Disneyland will continue to do weekends like this and that this weekend shows that people WANT to see rare characters out and about.

    I also want to add that I experienced once of the most magical moments I’ve ever had at Disneyland and, interestingly enough, it didn’t involve the characters that weekend. I had the wonderful opportunity to get a sketch of Mickey Mouse from “The Band Concert” (my favorite Mickey Mouse short) from the fabulous Stacia Martin. She was such a gracious and lovely woman who has such a reverence for Disney history. I was beaming from ear to ear as we talked about the history of “The Band Concert” while she sketched. I will always remember that time with Stacia Martin. She is a true treasure.

    I do hope that Disneyland can figure out a rain contingency plan, though. I was almost going to go on Sunday but saw that the event was closed down because of the rain. Seeing that we’re entering the rainy season, there is a chance that the Festival Arena could be rained out again. I would hate to go down to Disneyland for one of these Family Fun Weekends only to find out that it’s been cancelled due to inclement weather. Couldn’t the Fantasyland Theater be set up in case of rain?

  • #9 – Maria

    Seven Dwarfs
    Captain Hook, Wendy and Mr. Smee from “Peter Pan”
    Donald Duck and Daisy Duck
    Clarabelle Cow and Horace Horsecollar
    Esmeralda and Clopin from “The Hunchback of Notre Dame”
    King Louie and Baloo from “Jungle Book”
    (January 24th blog)

  • The Family Fun Weekends have been a blast, but this weekend, Fan Favorites was the best yet. I went on Friday and just had to do it again on Sunday. Having my picture taken with all the characters made me feel like a kid again. But to have my picture taken with all 7 Dwarfs at one time – magical. But I would have to say the most memorable event of the entire weekend was not only having a character drawn especially for me but finding out that Joe, the Disney sketch artist, is from my hometown of Bridgeport, CT. It was great reminiscing while watching him bring both Maleficent and Chernabog to life on paper. THANK YOU Joe. Thank you to all the CAST members (you were fantastic especially with the slight rain delays of Sunday) Than you Disneyland for making such a wonderful memory for everyone who was there.

  • Michele, what an AMAZING event! I am so sorry for those who tried to go on Sunday. I went BOTH Friday and Sunday. I literally freaked out when I saw, not only the characters that won the vote, but extra characters like all 4 of the Country Bears! I voted so hard for some of these characters and was thrilled to see them there. THANK YOU DISNEYLAND, and please consider doing something with that space similar to what you are doing now. More entertainment, MORE themed food, and keep rotating characters (both rare and favorites). The sketches were a great idea!!

    Also, Michele… congratulations on getting the new job. I loved the last person that ran it and i’m looking forward to getting updates from you. Also… the last Director was very involved in the blog as far as commenting and responding to people’s postings. I hope to see you just as involved. Sometimes people ask questions on here and it was special when they would get responses on here. Thank you Michele.

    By the way, the other two events (Fiesta Disneyland & Kickin’ Country) were just as great. They didn’t seem as popular, but I strongly believe it was because it wasn’t well advertised. I’m just talking about having it listed on the schedule or cast members knowing about it. I still encounter cast members that don’t know that is happening back there. So when people ask, they don’t have answers. This being the third event, i think it was better organized and there were more signs at the Disneyland entrance and by Big Thunder Mountain.

  • AWESOME! What a great weekend! It was amazing to have the sketch artists recreate our favorite Disney characters! My daughter absolutely loved having Stacia sketch her Little Mermaid! What a wonderful woman, full of Disney history and such a joy to talk to. Please keep this an annual event. Such special memories. Thank you.

  • How can I fond out which characters will be in the park during which days? Is there some sort of list or calender I can look up?

    • Meeting some of your favorite Disney characters is a popular activity at the Disneyland Resort. Here are some tips. There are a few places where characters appear regularly: Mickey Mouse at his house in Toontown, Tinker Bell and her fairy friends at Pixie Hollow, Disney royalty at the Princess Fantasy Faire and Duffy the Disney Bear on Paradise Pier in Disney California Adventure park. To find out where other characters will be appearing in the parks, ask a cast member at City Hall or visit the Tip Board at the end of Main Street, U.S.A. to see up-to-date information. If you have a smart phone from Verizon, download the Mobile Magic app, which includes lots of fun tips, including character locations and attraction wait times.

  • My wife and I went Friday and what an amazing time we had. Getting to meet characters like Horace Horsecollar and the entire group from Alice In Wonderland was so much fun. Lisa our stetch artist did an AMAZING job on my wife’s Robin Hood picture. I hope that this is something you do more than once a year!

  • It was great seeing all the characters that you usually don’t see. Unfortunately Mother Nature didn’t agree! The rain made cancelled the event before we were able to meet them all. Spoke with a cast member and hopefully they can bring them back at the end of the FF weekends. Thanks Disneyland for the opportunity, maybe Mother Nature will feel better next year! See you this weekend.

  • went sat. and sun. wow wow wow!!! you guys did an awesome job!! with the amount of ppl there, and all the activity…it really went pretty smoothly from what i could see. i got photos with all the characters on sat., and then went back to get a sketch on sun. – thankfully i got there early enough; by the time i left, it started to sprinkle. (stacia rocks, btw). this is one for the memory books, for sure. in fact, my photo with all the 7 dwarfs is currently my facebook profile photo. and i will be getting my sorcerer mickey sketch framed. 😀 i hope we have more character fan day opportunities.

    i will definitely be checking out the rest of the family fun weekends. can’t wait!

  • I was there on friday and it was so much fun. Great to see these hard to see characters. So hope you do again and I’m really excited to try and get to the Lunar New Year Days or Mardi Gras weekends.

  • I was so bummed when they canceled it yesterday, it had even stopped raining! I was dying to get a picture with Esmerelda and the Dwarfs!
    Luckily, I’m a passholder, otherwise I would have been totally bummed that I went specifically for Character Fan Day and it was canceled. I hope I get another chance to meet some of these rare characters, and that Disney plans another weekend like this soon!

  • Unfortunately I was there the day it was rained out as well. Please do a make up day or weekend!!

  • What a marvelous assortment of characters! Since Sunday was rained out,will there be a make up weekend?

  • I’m really excited to try and get to the Lunar New Year Days or Mardi Gras — we tried to go to the Character Fan Day yesterday (Sunday) but it was unfortunately rained out 🙁 There were a lot of characters still floating around the parks though so it wasn’t a total wash (hehe, rain joke)

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